MANILA - Moviegoers can expect more big-screen love stories beyond Valentine's Day, as ABS-CBN film outfit Star Cinema is gearing up for several more romance-themed offerings in 2014.
"Starting Over Again," the first film of Toni Gonzaga and Piolo Pascual as co-stars, will open nationwide on February 12 to coincide with Valentine's week. The Olivia Lamasan-directed movie centers on former lovers who cross paths again after breaking up with no closure.
Star Cinema, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has announced several other romantic films slated for release this year. Promising fresh stories, the line-up is a mix of new team-ups and tried-and-tested "love teams."
Here are 5 Star Cinema movies to look forward to this year, and what we know about them so far:
1. She's Dating the Gangster
Starring: Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla
'Got to Believe' stars Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. ABS-CBN
What we know so far: A film adaptation of the book by Bianca Bernardino, "She's Dating the Gangster" centers on 17-year-old Athena Dizon, who strikes a deal with school heartthrob Kenji delos Reyes to pretend to be his girlfriend. Originally uploaded on Wattpad, an online community for writers, the story was picked up by Summit Books for publishing in March 2013. [Read related story]
The team-up of Bernardo and Padilla in "She's Dating the Gangster" will follow the successes of their first two films together -- "Must Be Love" and "Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay," both released last year. Their new film was announced in January during the contract-signing of Star Cinema with Summit Books for the adaptation.
2. Once A Princess
Starring: Erich Gonzales, Enchong Dee
Erich Gonzales and Enchong Dee with director Laurice Guillen during a recent story conference for the film. ABS-CBNnews.com
What we know so far: Directed by Laurice Guillen, "Once A Princess" centers on a class geek-turned-successful scientist who crosses paths again with a "princess" who played with his feelings when they were younger. Like "She's Dating the Gangster," this film is also an adaptation of a best-selling book, this time from the Precious Hearts Romances series. [Read related story]
The movie will mark yet another team-up of Gonzales and Dee, whose "love team" took off in 2009 via the afternoon series "Katorse." The tandem also starred in the drama series "Tanging Yaman" and "Magkaribal" in 2010, and "I Do," a romantic-comedy film released in the same year. Gonzales and Dee's last project together was "Maria La Del Barrio," the ABS-CBN adaptation of the Mexican series aired in 2011.
3. Untitled Angelica-Gerald movie
Starring: Angelica Panganiban, Gerald Anderson
Gerald Anderson and Angelica Panganiban with director Ruel Bayani during a recent story conference for the film. ABS-CBN News
What we know so far: Directed by Ruel Bayani, the still-untitled film will be the first time Panganiban and Anderson will act together. Unlike his last two films ("No Other Woman," "One More Try"), which he described as "big, explosive melodrama," Bayani said the new movie will be "quiet, mature and restrained." While the film's story is still under wraps, the director offered the film will feature "a story of great love." [Read related story]
4. Untitled Sarah-Coco movie
Starring: Sarah Geronimo, Coco Martin
Sarah Geronimo and Coco Martin (third, fourth from left) with actress Ruffa Gutierrez and director Jerry Sineneng during a recent story conference for the film. ABS-CBN News
What we know so far: The Jerry Sineneng-directed movie, according co-star Ruffa Gutierrez, will feature Geronimo as an up-and-coming PR professional who meets Martin's character. Geronimo described the film as a romance-drama, which she said will be a departure from her "A Very Special Love" trilogy co-starring John Lloyd Cruz. The upcoming film, which started shooting on Tuesday, will be Geronimo and Martin's second acting project together after the TV musical "1DOL" in 2010. [Read related story]
5. Untitled third 'KimXi' film
Starring: Kim Chiu, Xian Lim
Xian Lim and Kim Chiu as they appear in ABS-CBN's 2012 'Ulan' station ID. ABS-CBN
What we know so far: Arguably the most popular "love team" on television today, Chiu and Lim will topbill a film for a third time after the blockbuster successes of "Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo?" in 2013 and "Bride For Rent" in 2014. The new project was announced by the actress herself during a recent victory party for "Bride For Rent," which earned P325 million nationwide after only three weeks in theaters. [Read related story]